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Raw recap & reactions (Aug. 29, 2022): New champs, same daddy

WWE crowned new Women’s tag team champions while Dominik Mysterio was forced to make a choice.

The last Raw before Clash at the Castle! Everyone ready for an insane amount of wrestling this Labor Day weekend? No? Well, you’re here so you better accept that it’s happening.

Claire is here with the best blog on the net dot com, and I’m filling in the blanks.

Let’s talk Raw!

Not One Cap to be Found

A fan in Pittsburgh held a sign high that read “Rhea is My Papi.” Dominik Mysterio clearly agrees because when put in a position to swing on Ripley with a kendo stick, he hesitated. Actually, he did more than hesitate; he handed Rhea his weapon! This is the match the crowd wants to see and the mind wanders if a payoff is coming. And if it is, how does it look? WWE is extending a lot of storytelling capital on this soap opera between Dom and his real daddy. Even Rey Mysterio is confused by his son’s behavior.

But how did we get here? Well, if you missed the show, indulge me for a bit. Raw’s first half hour was all about the Judgment Day. Damian Priest x Finn Balor tag teamed against AJ Styles x Dolph Ziggler. And they won! The match wasn’t the finest hour for either man. We got a few miscues and some awkward transitions, to say nothing of the fact it just wasn’t a compelling match. That said, the right team won. Establishing Judgment Day’s dominance is paramount as this thing with Edge continues, especially with Damian taking the L last week.

The win was even more important since Edge pulled up to Raw in the G Wagon as soon as their match ended. Finn and Damian railed against Rey, Edge, and everything WWE legends presumably take from them. Now awful arguments although it’s hard hearing it when Finn says with a straight face he deserves an A&E special. He’s a heel though, so that’s okay. Edge showed up and the conversation revolved around Beth Phoenix’s badassdom, the number of pants wearers in the Copeland household, and the fact Rhea, Damian, and Finn learned nothing from him. Of course he didn’t show up alone, which is when the Mysterios jumped the Judgment Day with kendo sticks in hand.

And now you’re caught up to the beginning of this tale. The audience wants Dom to go all in on a kendo stick attack against Rhea. We all do. Maybe something will come of it at Clash at the Castle when Edge x Rey team against Judgment Day with Dom in his dad’s corner, albeit reluctantly.

Dom thought this beef with Judgment Day and the ensuing match was a family affair. Rey, continuing this theme that legends are taking chances away from the young cats, says he wants Edge’s experience. If I were a betting man, the smart money goes on Dom turning on his dad in Wales, then walking into the arms of his new papi, Rhea.


Matt Riddle and Seth Get Nasty

Two big things here: Riddle is now Matt again, and the best moments of the interview he and Seth did with Corey Graves came “when the cameras were off.” It was great because it felt completely real. Don’t take my word for it tho. Watch for yourself.

Your Winner...and NEW...

Raquel Rodriquez x Aliyah are your new Women’s tag champs. The Bougie Badass team defeated Kai-N-SKY which surprised me. There was nothing terribly wrong about the matchl, even though it started a bit shaky with Aliyah but picked up when it became Raquel vs. the world. But it’s Dakota and IYO taking the L here right before their big match in Wales doesn’t sit well. Their group’s whole thing is dominating and controlling the Women’s division. They even said it before the match.

Watching them not only lose to a team with less experience but get outsmarted in the process makes them look like chumps. Not exactly the best look for them going into a match with two former champions and the current champ. And, they basically loss to one woman. Just a weird booking choice for Bayley’s group to fall for the banana in the tailpipe at this moment, even if there are bigger plans for Raquel down the line.

Blood isn’t Thicker...

It was only a matter of time until Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens crossed paths. Sami is the honorary Uce, he’s getting in really good with Roman, and is even close with Jimmy Uso! Those two even have their own handshake, which proceeded the moment of the night for me when Sami said “bet” the way I say bet although he has no idea what it means . Love it.

But I digress. The Usos and Sami showed up this week to gas Roman and his accomplishments. Kevin Owens showed up with another message for their boss, which resulted in a lot of awkwardness between Kevin and Sami. Yes, Kevin is Sami’s boy, Jey Uso. Because of that, KO had harsh words for his best friend. He wants more for him and thinks he’s doing a disservice to himself following the Bloodline. Of course he’s right. We all know that, but it’s good for someone with this much history with Sami to keep it real.

KO and Jey didn't back down from one another, so we got a great impromptu match between the two. This keeps the thread of KO just walking into fights going and I like that a lot. It does wonders for his character and the matches don’t disappoint.

The pivotal moment in a match that pushed both men to their limits came when Jey demanded Sami blast his best friend with a chair. Jey wanted to win but also wanted to test Sami’s loyalty. Jimmy distracted the ref and Sami, with chair in hand, hesitated. Through all the chaos, KO go the win and while Sami entrenched himself between that rock and the proverbial hard place.

KO wants Roman. Sami wants to protect Roman. But Sami is KO’s best friend and knows there’s a lot of truth to everything KO said about Sami forgetting how dope he is and risking it all to be in with a group of people who treat him like crap. Does he ride with his best friend or keep doing enough in hopes the Bloodline fully adopts him into the fold?

Miz Ain’t No Snitch

There’s some intrigue with this story involving Dexter Lumis and the Miz. Miz refuses to talk about what happened during his kidnapping. In fact, he refuses to tell anyone why he’s no longer kidnapped. Historically, WWE isn’t great at following up on this type of story. People just reappear. But whatever. Point is, Miz doesn’t want to talk about anything. Lumis is no longer in police custody as a result of his vow of silence, since he refused to press charges.

Miz, clearly shook, believed he saw Dexter around every corner. During his match with Bobby Lashley, he clearly lacked focus. Lashley dominated early and we got some nice storytelling through Ciampa acting as the eyes in the back of Miz’s head. That gave Miz a second wind that lasted right up to the point he—and we—saw Dexter looming in the stands.

And that was that. Lashley took advantage of a scared Miz, slapped on the Hurt Lock, and went home still the United States champion.

I really wonder where this is going with Miz and Dexter, and, more importantly, how Ciampa plays into this. This was my second favorite moment in the show this week because Miz sells everything and Lumis is...well, have you seen him? The button to this was a very creepy moment with Dexter showing up in the back of Miz’s truck as the man with massive balls drove off into the moonlight.

Job Squad

Bianca Belair, Asuka, & Alexa Bliss took on Dani Mo, Katie Arquette, & Kayla Sparks in a “warmup” for their match at Clash. I’m with Graves on this one: It’s not much of a warmup in terms of comparable talent. So was it just for momentum? Yes, but I argue they didn’t need any since they already have plenty. Meh

Kurt Angle: Not an Indentured Servant

We got a fun match between The Street Profits and the Alpha Academy. The stakes? Kurt Angle’s allegiance. If the Profits lost, Angle would become a member of the Academy learning under “Master Gable.” This wasn’t about furthering any storyline, just a nice moment for Angle in front of his hometown crowd. And he shared some celebratory milk with the Profits after he realized that drank in the solo cups is way too strong.

Oh, and before we finish here, let’s talk about Angelo Dawkins. Dude shoulder tackled OTIS across the commentary table. That’s serious power and another sign Angelo is truly stepping up in the wake of all this talk about Montez going solo.

Theory of Wrestling

We followed up Johnny Gargano’s return with a taped segment between he and his former son, Theory. Theory, in complete heel fashion, disregards the fact Johnny became a father and wonders why he never heard from his “friend” while he racked up accolades. Johnny is proud of Theory even if he wished Theory took a different route to get to the top. It was cool, but definitely needs some breathing room to tell a story on the level of the old NXT of which these two were a part.

There wasn’t a lot of momentum towards Clash at the Castle this week. Which is surprising seeing as how the event is, ya know, in a few days. It wasn’t an awful show but it did feel considerably less inspiring than previous weeks. Not a terrible show but just flat and not up to the bar previously set.

Grade: B-

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.

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